Joyce, Joyceans, and the Rhetoric of Citation

By Eloise Knowlton | Go to book overview

2
Modernity Draws the Line

When I venture to write indifferently of whatever comes into my head, relying only on my own natural resources, I very often light upon the matter I am trying to deal with in some good author. . . . Then I realize how weak and poor, how heavy and lifeless I am, in comparison with them, and feel pity and contempt for myself.
Michel de Montaigne, On the Education of Children

Modernity has drawn a line. A line around voices. A line under the past. It has circled, encompassed, enclosed voices, in order to separate them, in order to order them, in order to set them one against the other. Here, with Montaigne in the sixteenth century, is depicted a by now familiar struggle, and a struggle that is peculiar to modernity, between the need to speak now and for oneself, and the intimidation, the pressure, the seeming inescapability of the already said. Here, signed by Michel de Montaigne, is the modern struggle to think, to write, somehow authentically. Authentically: that is, as an author, who may discern what counts as "his own" only over and against what is "theirs": the texts of others, the voices of a valued past. Here is a struggle, between a self that must write itself independently, and a force of tradition that is both necessary (as landmark against which the self might be located) and threatening (since this "coincidence," this "following" impinges on the writer's present independence). This contest depends on a structure of separations: between "my" language and "yours," between "my" language and language itself. Here, with Montaigne, is the modern anxiety for separation, identity, and a controlled system of difference.

Modernity has invented a means by which to enact this separation, this bordering of language: quotation. Quotation is a system by which sources and resulting works are kept distinct and brought into relationship as reli-

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Joyce, Joyceans, and the Rhetoric of Citation
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Foreword ix
  • Acknowledgments x
  • 1 - Punctum: An Introduction 1
  • Part 1 - Quotational Foundations 13
  • 2 - Modernity Draws the Line 15
  • 3 - Joyce's Citational Odyssey 35
  • Part 2 - Inside the Marks: Implications 49
  • 4 - Self . . . Style. Joyce . . . Author 51
  • 5 - Modern Citation, Modern Historiography 64
  • Part 3 - Beyond Quotation: Resistances 79
  • 6 - Moomb 81
  • 7 - Joyce and the Joyceans 101
  • Notes 115
  • Bibliography 125
  • Index 133
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